About

Matt Mills Artist Designer Austin Texas

 

Origin Story

Hey, I'm Matt Mills, a Digital Artist and Software Engineer from Austin, Texas. I grew up with a fascination for computers and design. I would spend hours in my room listening to music, playing video games, drawing, or trying to figure out how something worked on the computer. I started out programming games in BASIC and building websites in Notepad. That led me on a path to learning more about software and building web applications. It wasn't until after college that I ended up really diving into art.

With a day job that consisted of sitting in a cubicle and hunting website bugs for a major corporation, I needed a creative outlet. A friend showed me that you could design and model your own video game characters and worlds using Unreal. I was hooked.

I spent every free minute learning to use Maya to model and render 3D characters with dreams of one day working at Pixar. I connected with other artists on communities like Deviant Art and started to really love the process of creating.

I never made it to Pixar. But, my 3D portfolio and background in web development did help me get a foot in the door at one of Disney's video game studios to build websites with an option to move into an art role in the future. My experience at Disney was amazing and very eye-opening as to what it actually takes to make video games. I have the utmost respect for the artists, designers, engineers, and producers working in that industry. It's not easy. And, after a couple of years at Disney, I decided to abandon a career path as an artist and focus on web development. This is a decision I still question to this day.

I bounced around working in tech and software and eventually started a software company with some friends. During that time, I didn't create much art. Something was missing, though. That creative outlet wasn't there anymore. The fire was still burning but it had nowhere to go. This is what led to the second phase of my creative journey. I started creating again. Every day. And I found a vibrant artist community on Instagram to share my artwork with. It renewed my passion for art and design and has fueled a whirlwind of creation over the past 6 years.

Today, I continue to maintain a full-time career as a Software Engineer, while freelancing as a visual designer. I am also a Co-Founder and CTO at Art Grab. It's a lot, I know. One day, I still hope to be able to focus on art, design, and animation full time. But for now, it is creating the artwork you'll find on this website and on my Instagram feed that keeps me sane.

Clients

I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients and teams over the past few years. I'm always looking for new and challenging projects to work on, so please reach out if you have an idea you need help executing.

Clients include: ODESZA, Bassnectar, Opiuo, CloZee, Louis Futon, Foreign Family Collective, Red Light Management, Tenderfoot TV, Dell, Disney and more.

My Artwork

My artwork comes from a place of introspection and experimentation. It is a free-flowing creative expression released during the small amount of time that I set aside at the end of each day. I spend most of my day writing code and building complex systems. While that itself is a creative endeavor, there is another creative fire that burns deep within me. A fire fueled by emotion, music, and past experiences. 
So, at the end of every day, I sit down and put on some music, open up Photoshop and just start playing with shapes and colors. No sketches, no intentions, just pure creative flow. The artwork is very abstract and seems to connect with various people in different ways, invoking a range of feelings. In that sense, I don't think it is a coincidence that the artwork has resonated with many musicians. In the past few years, I have been hired as a freelancer to work on projects for Odesza, Bassnectar, Opiuo/CloZee, Louis Futon, and many others. My artwork has also been licensed by over 300 independent musicians and producers to be used as album artwork. That still blows my mind a bit.

Tools

I get asked a lot about what software I use to create my artwork. Over the years, I've used a wide variety of software applications on various projects. But, my current process relies heavily on Adobe Photoshop and a plug-in called FilterForge. I also utilize Maxon's Cinema 4D for creating 3D elements and animations. 

Art Grab

Freelancing in the music industry has created a lot of opportunities and friendships. It is those relationships that led me, and several other artists, to start work on building a platform to connect visual artists with musicians, record labels, and agencies that are in need of artwork. What we've built is called Art Grab. It's a platform where visual artists can upload artwork to be exclusively licensed for cover artwork, merchandise, posters, and more. Independent musicians, record labels, and management agencies can search the site for the perfect artwork for their next project and exclusively license it directly from the artist.

Contact

For inquiries, please use the contact form or hit me up on Instagram or Twitter.